Tag Archives: romney

Obama-Rama! Students Celebrate the President’s Reelection

Barack Obama won the re-election for a second term as the President of the United States of America. Obama won 303 electoral votes against Governor Mitt Romney’s 206 votes, according to the Huffington Post.

Hours before the announcement of President Barack Obama’s election victory, it seemed many USF students already knew who would win the presidency. “Obama,” said freshman Adam Hernandez. “Obama,” said sophomore Victor Valle.  “Hopefully, tonight is not just an election night, but a re-election night,” said Meagan Cuthill, a junior politics major who voted for the first time in this election. “Obama,” agreed freshman Cody Vassar, even though he is an open Republican. “I voted Romney, but I’ll run away if he wins, so I don’t get shot,” he joked. In Tuesday night’s crowd of Obama supporters, Vassar felt like a minority, he said. “But we’re a democracy, so I support everyone that voted,” he concluded.

With the high number of “I voted” stickers worn proudly by voters of the USF community at the event, Vassar had many people to support. Large groups of students gathered in the University Center’s first floor for the election watch party, standing or sitting in chairs and on the floor to keep an eye on the changing ballot numbers between Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.  “I’ve never seen so many people coming together and being involved,” said senior Adriana Duckworth. Junior Caroline Christ agreed. “Tonight and the Giant’s game are the only time I’ve seen people come together like this!”

It appears the viewing party has come a long way from its small, humble beginnings.“We’ve had three presidential election parties so far. It has gone from just twenty political junkies eating a pizza or two, to this,” said politics professor Patrick Murphy. “It’s almost a sports bar, but for political nerds,” he said.

Take into consideration the cheering and hollering each time a state’s final vote is cast, one might actually think they’re at a sports bar. Why are people so active this election? Junior media studies student, Hayley Zaremba, attributed the interest to the Republican candidate. “I’m surprised so many people came out, but I think just the prospect of having Romney as president is scary enough to get people out of their down rooms,” she said. Others connect the interest to the group environment. “I just wanted to watch the results on not [sic] my computer. It’s a pretty exciting environment,” said sophomore Jazlyn Taylor, an international studies student.

In the midst of enthusiasm for the election, which was the first voting experience for many students, some admittedly came to the watch party for the free food. “I came for the gathering, to feel more engaged…and for the food,” said Vassar. “The food is definitely a plus, but I also hope to see Obama win tonight,” said Alex Bacon, a sophomore English major.

Whether people were more excited for results or free food is a toss-up, but the election no longer is — Obama was voted for a second term as the U.S. president. “Obama won the presidency, everyone praise God and take your clothes off!” shouted an unidentified student, running out the door of the University Center.

 

The election watch party was hosted by the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.

Why I Will Not Vote This Next Election

I am the apathetic weight dragging this nation down. In two weeks, over 100 million Americans will cast their votes, and I will not be one of them. Both campaigns and their many acolytes on TV, Twitter, Facebook and street corners keep telling me that this is one of the most important elections in our country’s history.

This very newspaper has given ample space in an effort to help you choose who and what to vote for in these critical times. But the more I hear out of the mouths of these two “leaders”, the less guilty I feel about my choice.

The last debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did nothing more then confirm how little a difference my choice will actually make. Rather then a substantive debate about foreign policy, the candidates battled to prove who loved Israel more, and tolerated Iran less. In the preceding events, we heard the pro-life, trickle-down conservative defend binders full of choices and seemingly reverse every part of his tax plan.

But it was the supposed socialist who really turned my head; I heard the progressive Democrat I voted for in 2008 defend guns, Israel, and the unlawful murder of thousands through drone warfare. Tell me again how important my vote is, how much it could change things?

The left loves to cite an obstructionist Congress, a still stifling economic climate, and the limited sample of four years.

While I accept all of these as contributing factors, I cannot assign them all the blame. Nearly four years after the Bush Administration, the security state it created has yet to surrender any of the powers and privileges taken in the name of “national security.”

An American citizen, Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was never convicted in a US court of any crime, was assassinated on the orders of the President. It took more then two years for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, one of the most ridiculous policies in the history of our military, to finally be abolished, and more then three years for our “progressive” leader to finish his evolution concerning civil rights and finally support marriage equality.

How am I supposed to believe that four more years will grant this president the courage of his convictions?

Spare me your earnest appeals to the spirit of democracy and the responsibilities of a citizen. I am not uninterested, uninformed, or undecided.

I prefer the policies Barack Obama doesn’t have the courage to defend, to the policies that Mitt Romney only pretends to support. Maybe others can accept the electoral reality that necessitates concessions, compromises, and outright lies.

Liberalism is a dirty word because no one with any real power has borne it with pride in nearly half a century.

Barry Goldwater, although a conservative, is a model for that pride that is nonexistent today; he chose ideals over votes and lost in a historic landslide. Yet modern conservatism rose from the ashes of that defeat to dominate the decades that followed.

Until we find a liberal nearly as brave as Mr. Goldwater to call herself or himself a bad name, and stand for unpopular ideals, then I see no reason to vote.

First Presidential Debate an Insult

As I turned on the television to tune into the first presidential debate of the 2012 election, I expected an impressive showdown between Romney Robo-Cop and the great American hope, President Obama himself.
What I expected and what was delivered were so drastically different, at times I had to pinch myself throughout the debate. I hoped I would wake up from some nightmare and be presented with a debate that contextualized the facts and allowed for an accurate portrayal of the two candidates, and maybe even resulted in a notable difference between them.
Alas, I was unable to escape the reality of a presidential debate that did everything but that.
Instead, I was introduced to Romney Robo-Cop 2.0, a presidential candidate who was willing to lie through his teeth to capture independent voters, and portray a spurious presidential platform all for the sake of winning the debate. My stomach turned as I heard the words “I will not raise taxes on the middle class” from Romney, and as he bizarrely tried to distinguish himself from the President as a leader who would be committed to bi-partisan solutions.
But the tragedy didn’t end there. As I eagerly waited for Governor Romney’s hideously untruthful performance to ignite President Obama into forging a stellar response, a President I’ve never seen before greeted me. This president sounded rattled, unprepared, and most disappointingly unmoved by the attacks being directed his way.
Instead of combating lies with the truth, Obama took a different approach: he refused to acknowledge them at all. He didn’t press Romney on his 47% remark (as noted by every political analyst in America), he didn’t adequately present the progressive policies to be expected in his second term, and he left members of his own party and undecided independent voters — perhaps for the first time in his presidency — without hope in his ability to rise above and distinguish himself as the president we once upon a time believed he could be.
So if they both performed poorly, who won? No one. In that debate, there was no clear-cut winner. Instead there was only an established loser: the American public. Both candidates’ performances were an outright insult.
As constituents, we deserve honest, real, and representative performances from the prospective president in these debates. If we allow the candidates to intrigue us with lackluster performances and egregious misrepresentations of their policy positions, we might as well forfeit any rights to be critical of the next elected president.
And if we allow ourselves to consistently be insulted and duped by the candidates of 2012, we will have only ourselves to blame with the results of the next four years in America. Think about that, as you watch the debate approaching this October 22.

*Written by Kad Smith, contributing writer to the Foghorn; Vicente Patino is the Opinion Editor.

Neither Romney nor Obama Get My Vote

As excited as I am about voting in my first presidential election, I am increasingly jaded with both the Republican and Democratic candidates for President. As a woman, LGBTQ ally and someone who managed to pass a high school economics class, backing the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket is not a sensible option. However I cannot, in good conscience, vote to re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

President Obama’s administration has done things I wholeheartedly support. He increased access to birth control, promoted equality by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and proposed legislation to further better the economy, had it not been blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives. Despite this record, I am deeply disturbed at the Obama Administration’s attack on civil liberties and violations of human rights across the globe.

In the past four years, President Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act, allowing him to indefinitely detain any U.S. citizen without trial or charge. He has also killed thousands of innocent men, women and children in drone strikes across Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

He has also increased internet censorship, seizing over 750 domains in the past two years alone. In addition, President Obama has granted immunity to all government officials involved in torturing detainees. I cannot bring myself to vote for a candidate that blatantly disregards the welfare, dignity and basic rights of my fellow human beings.

For these reasons, I’ve decided to venture outside of the two-party system and cast my vote for Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and vice presidential nominee Cheri Honkala.

My views about domestic and foreign policy, the economy, and the environment are closely aligned with their platforms and I am voting for them despite the fact that their chances of winning the presidency is someplace between zero and nil. I want to have my voice heard through my vote. If that means choosing outside of the “feasible” options, I will take full advantage of my liberty to do so.

Some would argue my vote is wasted by not choosing a Democratic or Republican candidate. However, it’s evident that the two-party system has ultimately harmed the United States. Partisan loyalty and acting as though the two parties’ aims are mutually exclusive has caused deep divides among the American people and inhibited progress on all fronts.

No matter how you look at it, the bottom line is that the education system is in shambles, the environment is rotting around us, we’re hurting a lot of innocent people around the globe and the prospect of finding a job, especially as a young graduate, remains grim at best.

The point of electing leaders and having a government is to benefit the people rather than harm them and, for me, advocating for a candidate who fits neither Republican or Democratic narrative is a way to realize that goal and pressure complacent elected officials to seek solutions outside their partisan circle.

The Local Perspective: A Closer Look at California Propositions


If you’re registered to vote in California, and feel like the Electoral College will throw your presidential vote into a sea of democratic blue, fear not.There are still reasons to get to the polls! There are 11 high-stakes propositions in November’s ballot that will be both define the future of our state and course of national dialogue.

Historically, many of these propositions are won or lost by extremely close margins, meaning every vote counts—including yours.

The California Initiative process, proposing laws through petitions, was designed to give citizens in the state the ability to sidestep their elected legislators and make governmental decisions themselves.
The initiative process, copied from Sweden’s system, was created by constitutional amendment in 1914 to counter the political powerhouse of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Although today your ability to create petitions has been hindered by money from special interest groups, voting on these initiatives is still an empowering form of direct democracy.

Our U.S. Constitution has been amended only 22 times in the past 222 years, while the California constitution has changed over 540 times in 130 years, according to Reed Levine of the grassroots movement Vote No on Everything.Voter-driven change in California is not just tangible, it’s borderline excessive.

The state’s initiative process has shown to be the catalyst for a greater national dialogue. Californians, through their propositions, have brought issues like the death penalty, affirmative action, medical marijuana, stem-cell research, and assisted suicide to the dinner tables of Americans everywhere.

In 2008, Proposition 8 sparked a national discussion around same-sex marriage and today, Proposition 37 has started a serious discussion around genetically modified foods. We as youth voters have the opportunity to begin framing the debate for our future, depending the initiatives we vote for this November.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2012 California propositions:

Proposition 30: Temporary taxes to fund education
Increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ a cent for four years, to fund schools.

Proposition 31: State budget cycle
Increases budget cycle from one year to two and gives the governor power to cut budget of one person or group during fiscal emergencies.

Proposition 32: Political contributions
Prohibits unions, corporations, or government contractors from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes, with exemptions.

Proposition 33: Car insurance
Changes law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company, and the driver’s history with other insurance companies.

Proposition 34: Death penalty
Statute to repeal the death penalty, applying retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. Statute requires that those found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with wages subject to deduction for victim restitution fees. Also directs $100 million from California’s General Fund to law enforcement agencies and homicide investigations (SAFE).

Proposition 35: Human trafficking
Increasing penalties for human trafficking. Including lengthened prison sentences, requirement of traffickers to register as sex offenders, requirement for sex offenders to provide Internet passwords for social media identities, and requires human trafficking training for police officers.

Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law revisions
Revises the Three Strikes Law to impose life sentence only when a new felony conviction is serious or violent. Continues to impose life sentence penalty if third strike law involved a firearm, or if previous charges were for rape, murder, or child molestation.

Proposition 37: Labeling genetically engineered foods
Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from genetically modified plants or animals, with exemptions.

Proposition 38: Tax to fund education and early childhood programs
Increased personal income tax rates on annual earnings over $7,316, on a sliding scale based on total yearly income, for 12 years, to fund education.

Proposition 39: Tax treatment for multi-state businesses and clean energy efficiency funding
Requires multi-state business to calculate their income tax based on percentage of sales in California instead of getting to choose their own favorable formula. Also dedicates $550 million annually, from expected increase in revenue, to create energy efficient and clean energy jobs in the state.

For more prop info, go to voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions

Presidential Election Voting Guide: Part One

The vote goes beyond pure statistical influence.

FACT: California was into the Union a century and a half ago by a one-vote margin.
However, today, according to Economic Inquiry, the probability that a single vote will decide a presidential election averages out to 60 million to one. The importance of the vote, however, reaches far beyond the statistical influence of a lone presidential ballot.
The vote sparks activism.

“The process of voting,” said Corey Cook, “is important in part because it’s a gateway to…political and civic engagement” even when “it is very unlikely for a single vote to matter in any contest.” said Corey Cook,

The statistic above highlights a reality about politics that actually makes both voting and civic engagement a requirement for full political participation: one can’t can’t be had with just one or the other.

Even if an election’s outcome did not align with one’s vote, the activism that is sparked by the act of voting amplifies the power of a ballot.

The vote was fought for.
The vote was won and extended to today’s demographic — to women, to minorities, to 18-year-olds, and to the poor — with extraordinary struggle, effort, and dedication. This effort deserves at least a cast ballot.
The vote sways smaller contests.
Smaller contests, including those for local offices and statewide propositions, are decided on a much narrower margin. Being the deciding vote is not equivalent to being a deciding factor in an election. A vote uncast is a vote that did not bring down the opposition.
Why The Vote Matters:
GET EDUCATED
Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote’s mission is to inform and to build political power of America’s 18-29 year olds through music, pop culture, and social media. This year, the nonprofit hosted a road trip across the East Coast with live bands and voting information and registration kiosks for concertgoers. According to the site there are 44 million eligible young voters — the largest generation in history who are also representative of about a fourth of the entire electorate in 2012. Since 1990s, the nonprofit has registered more than five million young people. Over 200 musicians support Rock the Vote, including Katy Perry, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, and Beyonce.
Check it out: rockthevote.com

Project Vote Smart
The non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization offers quick access to election information, and candidate biographies, ratings, voting records, and speeches. Not sure about which candidate you’re siding with? Go to their interactive VoterEasy page and instantly see who thinks most like you on issues including abortion, education, and health care. Vote Smart also has voter registration forms, absentee ballots, and election schedules for each state.
Check it out: votesmart.org

Politifact
Politifact finds the truth in politics by examining statements made by presidential candidates, Congress members, state legislators, governors, and other figures who speak out in American politics. Statements are researched and are rated by accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter, falling under one of six ratings: true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false, and pants on fire. Politifact also keeps track of how candidates flip their position on an issue, and whether they fulfill, compromise, or fail to meet their promises to citizens. Politifact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times, winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes.
Check it out: politifact.com

CountMore
Confused about whether you should register to vote at your school address or your home address? CountMore.org compares where your vote would count more based on state representation in the electoral college.
Check it out: www.countmore.org

GET THE DEBATE SCHEDULE HERE

REGISTER TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA HERE

Tuesday, November 6
* Election Day
Polling places open from 7 am – 8 pm * Deadline for receipt of vote-by-mail ballots
Must be received by Department of Elections or dropped off at polling place on Election Day by 8 pm